As reported first by Zach Bussey, Twitch officially instituted a new DMCA "Repeat Infringer" policy Monday, whereby streamers who acquire three valid DMCA copyright strikes will lose access to Twitch services. The service also clarified that strikes are not permanent, and instead of kept on the account until they determine you are not a repeated infringer.
"We will terminate an account holder’s access to the Twitch Service if that user is determined by Twitch to be a “repeat infringer” of copyrighted works on the service – under our policy, a user will be considered a repeat infringer if they accrue three copyright strikes," Twitch explained in their updated DMCA guidelines. "Furthermore, we may in appropriate cases and at our sole discretion, limit access to the Twitch service and/or terminate the accounts of any users who blatantly and egregiously infringe the intellectual property rights of others, whether or not repeat infringement has occurred."
Accounts will receive a strike when Twitch receives a "complete notification of infringement" without a counter-notification or retraction of the claim.
They clarified, "Strikes are not permanent, but rather are associated with an account for enough time for Twitch to determine whether the account holder is engaging in repeated infringement such that termination is necessary under this Policy."
Twitch also stated, "if a relevant court rules that an account holder is an “infringer” or “repeat infringer” on Twitch, we will take that ruling as conclusive under our Repeat Infringer Policy. To provide judicial determinations showing that an account holder is an infringer, or a repeat infringer, on the Twitch service, please forward it to our Designated Copyright Agent "
Over the past few months, Twitch has been stepping up its enforcement of DMCA claims on its platform, after receiving thousands of claims from music publishers back in late May. Many streamers were upset in June when they were forced to remove most of their saved clips, for fear that they may be playing copyrighted music in some of their past clips.
Other streamers have faced DMCA challenges related to co-streaming events and video content that they weren't supposed to. Just this past week, Game Done Quickly submitted a DMCA strike against Summit for co-streaming their content on his channel.
The new DMCA guidelines are a strong signal from Twitch that they will be taking DMCA very seriously going forward. So it would be wise for streamers to cross their Ts and dot their Is on copyright issues, because Twitch is taking off the training gloves.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.